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  • Monday, October 05, 2020 12:19 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    MVRA Letter to Gov Ige

    I am sharing MVRA's letter that we set to Governor Ige last week. Feel free to utilize any of our suggestions or data in your letters to the Governor and Lt. Gov as well.

    A Message from RBOAA

    Rental By Owner Awareness Association (RBOAA) has sent over an urgent Call to Action that we would like to support. RBOAA is an unrelated organization, but we work closely together and share similar goals. Here is the the gist of the message:

    As most of you hopefully know, Governor Ige on September 16 cautiously reopened tourism starting October 15 when pre-travel testing will allow visitors to bypass the mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival in Hawaii. There are many state rules and what-ifs, and the counties may have their own rules, so please read up on these prior to taking bookings or planning any trips.

    A potential problem has arisen because the county mayors have since decided that they want all arrivals to take a second test within 72 hours of arrival. During those proposed 72 hours, all arriving would need to remain quarantined, and on Maui at least, that means travelers (though not owners) would need to stay in quarantine-approved accommodations (which excludes the majority of vacation rentals). Additionally, as homeowners we may be responsible for a fine if our guests were to stay in our vacation rentals during their quarantine. Some local groups have also been lobbying the Governor to adopt a two test policy.

    Here are links to media reports with two county mayors of Maui and Kauai on record pushing for the second test.


    Maui Mayor Victorino


    Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami


    Hawaii Lt Governor Josh Green is on record opposing the second test as it will severely reduce the number of visitors who will come.


    It sounds like the mayors need the Governor's approval to implement the second test requirement.


    URGENT: We ask that you, TODAY, send out three emails voicing your concern that legal vacation rentals (a large part of the tourism economy) are being now pushed out of the reopening equation AND also that this second test will severely restrict the restarting of the tourism economy.


    1.  Contact your county's mayor and voice your concern. 

    2.  Contact Governor David Ige

    3.  Contact Lt Governor Josh Green


    In addition there is a petition started by that you can sign:


    It will also help to ask people to write a comment under Josh Green’s FB video. He is against the second test but many of the comments are criticizing him.

  • Tuesday, September 22, 2020 11:05 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Thank you to all the stakeholders who submitted their testimony both written and oral for today’s meeting. A big Mahalo to the planning department for meeting with us, and RAM, and amending their presentation with some of our suggestions. Your words and voices are so important, because only you folks know the state of the industry, and can speak to what changes to the ordinance could result here on Maui. Many of us stated the unintended consequences that could be associated with the proposed legislation and the commissioners and the County heard the message. 

    There were a lot of procedural revisions that we supported in this legislation, but unfortunately these were tied to other restrictions, like adding the 15 years ownership for STRH or the 5 years ownership and construction to B&B applications. The language on the trusts still needed work, in order to be sure beneficiaries were not left out.

    The commissioners along with the director of the planning department, Michele McLean said their recommendation is to defer this bill. The department will make edits detailed by the director, McLean:

    “Allow Jacky and me to make the changes we included in the powerpoint, 

    • Eliminating the proposed changes to B&Bs including the 5 year owner and construction requirement, 
    • Removing the 15 year requirement for STRH and leaving that as is at 5 years
    • Removing the property tax as prima facie evidence from B&B and STRH
    • Working some more with corp counsel on the trust language, taking into account some of the testimony that we saw
    • Clarifying that ads should use TMK not physical addresses
    • Clarify that each lot gets one vote per lot, pertaining to the changes in mailing notifications and letters that come in 
    • Clarify what the changes mean for existing permit holders,

    Those were the main takeaways that I got from the meeting with MVRA, RAM and written and oral testimony.

    So what we will do is work on the bill and coordinate one last time with MVRA and RAM and then we can post that, and schedule it again at a future meeting.”

    After the unanimous vote to support the deferment, Chair Carnicelli added, “I want to say thank you to all the testifiers, everybody that submitted written and oral testimony, its greatly appreciated. Its always good to see the community come out and have their voices heard and make a better mousetrap. So thank you to everybody.”

    If you missed the meeting and you would like to see the deliberations and vote check our youtube channel for this short 8 minute video

  • Monday, September 14, 2020 10:59 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    A big mahalo to everyone that joined us for the first MVRA Zoom meeting last week Thursday. We have confirmation that the proposed changes to the B&B and Short Term Rental ordinances are on the Planning Commission agenda for September 22, 2020 at 9am.

    Please send in testimony with your feelings on the proposed ordinance changes, and state that we do not think this is the right time for changing the ordinance. The changes should be deferred and more information should be gathered, like determining what Maui’s visitor industry looks like after COVID restrictions have been lifted. Right now with the current closures we don’t know what the future is going to be like when we reopen. We need time, and we don’t want to eliminate any economic opportunities that could be critical to our county.

    We will be holding another zoom meeting this Thursday September 17th, at 11am HST to discuss further, please register at

    Planning Meeting agenda:

    Link to the Planning Department’s Report and the proposed legislation

    Here is how you can get involved:

    • Join our Zoom meeting: We have a meetup scheduled this Thursday September 17th, at 11am HST to discuss further, please register at

    • Submit Written Testimony: To provide written testimony, email comments to by noon, one business day before the meeting to ensure distribution to the commission.

    • Oral Testimony via Phone: To listen to the meeting or provide oral testimony via phone, dial 1-888-748-9073 (toll free) or 1-408-915-6290 or 1-408-740-7256 and enter code: 696 111 670. At the beginning of the meeting each testifier will be given 3 minutes to testify per agenda item they are testifying on. 

    • Video Testimony via BlueJeans: If you would prefer to give video testimony via video conferencing software, you can join the meeting via BlueJeans using the following link: Note: Download the Bluejeans app ahead of time by clicking that link. It seems to work better if you download the app first ahead of time. 

    Submit written testimony by 5pm Friday September 18, 2020 to


    Because of social distancing all meetings are done over your computer or phone. No driving to Wailuku needed! All you have to do is click the link below to attend this meeting next week Tuesday, September 22, 2020 a few minutes before 9am.

  • Wednesday, August 26, 2020 8:37 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Thank you to everyone who participated and reached out to the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee Council of the County of Maui. At today’s meeting the committee heard and took into consideration the concerns we had about property rights with regard to item (PSLU-59) Transient Vacation Rentals in the Apartment, Light Industrial, and Heavy Industrial Districts. The committee voted to amend the language in section G item 2 where it reads the qualifying criteria for TVRs. The amendments include “or payment of TAT and GET taxes” and the effective date the building needs to show that use changes to the date of the bill passage, instead of January 1, 2020. These amendments and the item passed with 6 affirmative votes, with council member Kelly King excused. (if you want to read why we asked for language changes go here)

    The next step for item (PSLU-59) Transient Vacation Rentals in the Apartment, Light Industrial, and Heavy Industrial Districts is the PSLU committee will create report and that will be heard at a future County Council meeting.

    Item Moratorium on Transient Accommodation Permits on Lana`i (PSLU-72) had a unanimous vote of 7 in favor of this bill. The committee will write a report for this item to be taken up at a future County Council meeting. Currently there are no bed and breakfast operations on Lana’i and there are 19 STRH permits operating on Lana’i and 1 permit pending in the que. Also to note, the Lana’i Planning Commission is working on its own set of changes in the B&B and STRH ordinances specific to Lana’i, that will be heard in the future. 

    A video excerpt of todays meeting is available on the MVRA youtube channel

    The Loophole bill is on the agenda 

  • Monday, August 24, 2020 9:43 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    We have another update on the Minatoya Loophole bill, it will be on the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee Agenda as item PSLU-59 this Wednesday at 9am.

    I am going to paraphrase the information that the Realtor Association of Maui (RAM) sent out, because their information was concise and to the point: 

    We would like to see a change in the language in Section G 2, because that language could potentially threaten the property rights of a small subsection of non-condominium properties that have lawfully been conducting short-term rentals pursuant to permitted uses in the A-1 and A-2 zoning district, but have not been categorized in the Short-Term Rental real property tax class.

    MVRA is supporting the proposed amendment from RAM: 

    that MCC 19.12.020(G)(2) be replaced with the following language instead

    “Transient vacation rental use was conducted in any lawfully existing dwelling unit within the building or structure prior to January 1, 2021, as determined by real property tax class or payment of transient accommodations tax.”

    By adding these two details highlighted above into the language of the bill we can protect the property rights of the owners, increase Short Term Rental tax class without a net increase in TVR operators, and accomplish the goal of keeping non-TVR condominiums from converting to TVR use based on an old loophole.

    Please send your own two-cents in to help get this change in the language included in the bill.

    Here is what you can do:

    1. Submit Written Testimony: Written testimony should be submitted no less than 24 hours before the meeting via email to: . I've attached a copy of RAM’s testimony, but I would recommend drafting your own individual testimony. 
    2. Oral Testimony via Phone: Oral testimony can be provided via telephone by dialing in to 1-408-915-6290 and entering meeting code 994 504 421. At the beginning of the meeting each testifier will be given 3 minutes to testify per agenda item they are testifying on. 
    3. Video Testimony via BlueJeans: If you would prefer to give video testimony via videoconferencing software, you can join the meeting via BlueJeans using the following link:
    4. View Live: If you don't want to testify but you still want to see what happens, you can watch the meeting live on Akaku Channel 53 or online using links at
    5. Contact Your Council Representative: As always, you should feel free to reach out directly to your local County Council representatives on any issue using the following info:
    • Alice Lee, Chair:, (808) 270-7760
    • Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, Council Vice Chair:, (808) 270-7678
    • Tasha Kama, Presiding Officer Pro Tempore:, (808) 270-5501
    • Riki Hokama, Councilmember:, (808) 270-7768
    • Kelly King, Councilmember:, (808) 270-7108
    • Mike Molina, Councilmember:, (808) 270-5507
    • Tamara Paltin, Councilmember:, (808) 270-5504 <- Chair of the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee
    • Shane Sinenci, Councilmember:, (808) 270-7246 <- Vice Chair of the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee
    • Yuki Lei Sugimura, Councilmember:, (808) 270-7939

    If you have any questions or need more information email us at

  • Wednesday, August 05, 2020 7:19 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    New Hawaii Vacation Rental Report

    Kloninger & Sims has just released a new report on Vacation Rentals in Hawaii. The report is a snap shot of economic activity short term rentals generate for the state, including consumer travel trends and implications for the Hawai'i visitor industry.

    The vacation rentals hosted 2.5 million visitors state of Hawaii in 2019, representing an increase of 5.2% over the previous year. The report finds that vacation rentals comprise 30.4% of the visitor market in Maui County.

    To read the report click here.

  • Monday, August 03, 2020 7:16 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    The County of Maui has announced and posted Updated Public Health Emergency Rules at

    The update is titled “Public Health Emergency Rules, Amended July 31, 2020.” It can be found under “COVID-19 Coronavirus Information.”

    The revised rules took effect July 31 and outline that a STRH, B&B or TVR may be used as a quarantine location for new or intended Hawaii residents leasing the STRH, B&B, or TVR. The quarantine is subject to the rules and regulations observed for the full 14 day period, and the property owner, manager, landlord, tenant and guest shall be responsible for the compliance. The STRH, B&B, or TVR may only designate as a quarantine location for a new or intended resident only once in a 6 month period.

    The new updated emergency rules include a limit of indoor and outdoor social gatherings to no more than 10 people. Face coverings are required, and physical distancing of at least 6 feet between separate groups must be maintained.

    Businesses and places of worship will still be allowed to function under existing County and State rules. Businesses such as restaurants, bars and beauty salons must continue to follow health and safety guidelines outlined in the emergency rules.

    The county also announced that Maui Police Department is the task force and contact for quarantine violations. Contact them on the non emergency email

    Governor Ige's 8/3 Press Conference Cliff Notes

    Q: Is the Sept. 1 Pre-Travel Testing Program deadline hard and fast at this point, and will people be allowed in whether or not they have received negative test results?


    -- We are working hard to complete all of the preparations for the Sept. 1 announcement of when we would begin the Pre-Travel Testing Program.

    -- The visitor industry needs to have time ahead of those decisions if there will be changes made.

    -- We continue to monitor the conditions in the state, and as well as around the country, and will be making a further determination as we get closer to the Sept. 1 date.

    -- The hotels have said three- to four-weeks’ notice is needed, and the airlines would like at least two-weeks’ notice if there will be a change.

    -- I will be meeting with the mayors. We would like to see a stopping of the increase in new cases in the state, and hopefully begin the trend downward.

    -- If there are too many cases here, and we have not stopped the increase, then we would be looking at delaying the Sept. 1 date.

    Q: What was the problem with the digital contractor? When will Google begin and is there an additional cost?


    -- In testing the application, they had finished the first phase. During the stress testing and assuring that we could move from the prototype to production, it became clear that we would have performance issues. The responsiveness of the app was not to our liking and would cause a delay.

    -- Google was selected by Chief Information Officer Doug Murdock who interviewed several of the leading software developers.

    -- Google is best positioned to develop a working app that would be able to scale to the level we need it to. If you recall, we used to get 30,000+ arrivals per day.

    -- They have been on for a day or two now. We expect to catch up to the original development schedule, although three to five days behind.

    -- We believe we would have a working application well ahead of the Sept. 1 date.

    [Summarized from HVCB Newsletter]

    Click here for the Governor's 10th proclamation.

    To See the full press conference here:

  • Friday, July 31, 2020 7:21 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Cost of Government Meeting

    Planning Director Michele McLean made a presentation at the The Cost of Government meeting on 7/23/2020.

    She stated that the planning department has successfully curtailed illegal vacation rentals on Maui. In this presentation she also goes over the recent legislation efforts including resolution 20-27 to reduce STRH Caps, and the most recent loop hole bill, pertaining to vacation rentals in the apartment district.

    One of the criteria in the loop hole bill is that the property have done vacation rental use prior to January 1 2020, using the real property tax classification. In the loop hole bill link above there are two different lists that Real Property tax provided with names of condo buildings where there are some STR classified units and where there are no STR classified units.

    Neither of these lists are comprehensive of legal short Term rental use properties under current law. The list of properties where there are some STR classified units includes buildings where STR use is not legal.

    The other list of 74 properties that is being touted as a list of properties that the loop hole bill is designed to protect, however, this list includes 17 properties where short term rental use is not allowed because they were built after 1991.

    You can view the director's presentation in this youtube link:

  • Wednesday, July 22, 2020 9:55 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    2020-2021 Real Property Tax Figures

    There are 4 categories directly related to visitor accommodation: Resort, Timeshare, Commercial Residential, and Short Term Rental (condos and permitted homes).  These total $189 million, or 50% of the total real property tax budget for the county. Of these the short term rental category makes up nearly 61%, resort property about 18%, time share 21% and commercial residential (permitted bed and breakfast operations) about 0.6%.

    Source: Maui County Real Property Tax Division

  • Friday, July 17, 2020 3:55 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    After 3 planning commission meetings and many hours of discussion the Planning Commission did get a vote through on “Resolution 20-27 to reduce short term rental home caps on Maui”. 

    (to read about the past two meetings you can look here: 6/30/20 meeting ; 6/9/20 meeting )

    In discussion, Commissioner Kellie Pali said that what she did like about the current permitting process is that the commission can manage it. She also said that lowering the caps “is not the way we help our affordable housing problem.”

    Commissioner La Costa asked “if the cap is reduced will that spur more illegal vacation rentals?”

    A motion was made to approve the lowering of the STRH caps to include the existing permits and those already in the application review process. That motion failed by a count of 4 to 3, with five votes being necessary to pass a motion. Then after much more discussion Commissioner Kellie Pali made a motion to leave the caps at the current levels and recommend that the council study the short term rental demand in each community plan district and set the caps to match the demand.  

    Commissioners Stephen Castro, Kawika Freitas, P. Denise La Costa, Kellie Pali, Dale Thompson voted in favor of recommending the council study the current demand in each region and setting the caps to meet the current demand, with a timeframe of 6 months for the study. The commissioners did not approve the Planning Department’s recommendation to lower the caps.

    This motion passed with 5 positive votes and only commissioner Christian Tackett voting against citing his support for the hotels to get back to full employment before adding any additional short term rentals.

    The planning commission’s recommendation will be sent to County council who will consider this matter further in the Sustainable land use and planning committee.

    The Maui News picked up the story:

    Panel: More study needed on short-term rental caps

    Proposed bill to lower caps heads back to council


    JUL 15, 2020


    Staff Writer

    After multiple meetings to discuss a Maui County Council bill that would lower the number of short-term rentals on Maui and Lanai, the Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday recommended that the council conduct more studies and set caps based on the demand for short-term rentals in each community.

    The commission voted 5-1 in favor of the motion, which included a recommendation that the council be given six months to conduct the study in community plan areas and then set the caps accordingly. During the meeting, some commissioners said they hoped that the council would come back to them with refined numbers so they could make a better decision.

    Ultimately, however, the commission can only make recommendations; final decision rests with the council.

    In March, the council sent the bill down to the commission, proposing to reduce the number of permitted rentals from 349 to 278. The bill was authored by Council Member Tamara Paltin, who was initially looking to reduce the number of short-term rentals in her district of West Maui but decided to include other districts after learning that fellow council members were also writing similar legislation. Council Member Kelly King asked that her district of South Maui not be included.

    Currently there are 212 short-term rental permits on Maui and Lanai and 18 are pending, said Jacky Takakura, administrative planning officer. The Maui County Planning Department proposed a cap of 230 to conform with current numbers. The bill would not stop those already going through the permit process.

    Supporters of the proposal have said at past meetings that reducing the cap would help reduce the impacts of tourism on local neighborhoods. But opponents, including many short-term rental owners, have said their businesses employ local residents and that their homes bring in smaller groups of families as opposed to the scores of tourists drawn by the hotels and resorts. Some also feared that lowering the caps would be the start of phasing out short-term rentals completely.

    On Tuesday, commissioner Christian Tackett, who was the lone dissenter on the motion, said until the community can get a handle on COVID-19 and how tourism will be handled in the state, it would probably be better to keep short-term rentals out of residential neighborhoods.

    He attributed higher property values to investment properties and said he’d rather see a focus on people buying homes to live in.

    Tackett also said that hotel rooms should be filled first, which would direct tourists away from neighborhoods and help provide jobs to local residents.

    However, commissioner Kellie Pali pointed out that hotels have hundreds of rooms. The number of visitors who would stay in the county’s permitted short-term rentals would barely make a difference in hotel occupancy.

    “I just lovingly disagree (the current cap of) 349 is going to impact us,” Pali said.

    Pali said she put her faith in the process, where short-term rental permits are vetted, applicants are reviewed and neighbors are notified of any possible new short-term rentals, with the opportunity to comment.

    Commission Chairman Lawrence Carnicelli pointed out that the bill was put forward before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Hawaii and felt that a broader conversation was needed. He said it’s still unclear when visitors will come back to the islands.

    “The dynamics of our island will completely change who comes here,” he said. “When they come here, where they stay, that’s all going to change.”

    He said he wanted the commission’s recommendation to be that “the nine council members and the mayor need to sit down” as they are the ones tasked with setting policy.

    The current caps for short-term rental permits in each district and the council’s proposed reductions are as follows: Hana, 30 to 23; Kihei-Makena, 100 (revised cap still to be decided); Makawao-Pukalani-Kula, 40 to 11; Wailuku-Kahului, 36 to 6; West Maui, 88 to 63; and Lanai, no cap to 20. The Paia-Haiku district cap is being proposed to stay at 55 after it was reduced last year from 88.

    In February, the council adopted a law eliminating short-term rental permits on Molokai. The island’s 17 existing permits will remain valid through the end of the year. The Maui Vacation Rental Association and four Molokai homeowners have filed a federal lawsuit against the county over the bill.

    [To donate to the lawsuit go to  

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